There is little known about ART jewellery. Arthur Pepper founded the company in the 1940s in New York, and the company ceased trading sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. There isn’t much ART jewellery around on the vintage market and I only have two pieces in my collection. Every source I have found regards ART jewellery as high quality and one source has even suggested they sometimes used real stones instead of paste, but I think that may be wishful thinking. I was attracted to this particular brooch because of its colours and its subject. Why would an American costume jewellery designer make a brooch in the form of a military helmet? I’ve no idea.
I consulted my resident historian (husband) re what type of helmet this is. I thought Roman he reckons French 19th century. All suggestions gratefully received.
French Second Empire Cuirassier Helmet
But in the British Museum the Roman helmet modelled by Mary Beard looks like this, and even I couldn’t put up an argument they were similar.
By the way if you would like a modern reproduction of a Roman helmet, yes you’ve guessed you can buy them on the internet, plumes are extra!